Travelling to the Shuswap with babies and young children is less of a challenge thanks to Ruby Marcelino and BabyQuip.
BabyQuip, founded in 2016, is an international company that facilitates the rental of baby gear like strollers and cribs to travelling families. A Shark Tank-funded innovation, BabyQuip operates all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and in a few other countries, but Marcelino noticed a glaring gap in service in the Shuswap and surrounding areas and decided to fill it.
“We love travelling,” said Marcelino. “When we travel, we have three kids and we know how hard it is to bring your own stuff with you, your stroller, your high chair, in just a small vehicle. So when we did that, I thought, why not do it as a business?”
She noticed a few similar companies renting gear in Kelowna but signed on with BabyQuip to be the Shuswap representative. Marcelino delivers in the Shuswap, Vernon, Kamloops and Revelstoke, and further south in the Okanagan on request.
“People bring kids here,” said Marcelino. “It’s crazy to me this hasn’t been thought of before, as a mom. With the ski hills, and in the summer hiking, the lake, boating and everything, and spring break, you don’t want to have to bring your baby stuff.”
Marcelino facilitates either a drop-off of the requested gear for a delivery fee or a self pick-up from her home where she stores the equipment. Depending on a hotel’s policy, she said she can arrive before a guest and set up the gear in their room or meet them at their accommodation. She has also loaned baby gear for short-term events like weddings.
The BabyQuip company covers insurance on the gear but it is Marcelino’s responsibility to clean and upkeep the items to company sanitary standards.
She rents out cribs, bassinets, car seats, training potties and other equipment. She will also stock guests up with baby items from the store, offering to shop for diapers, baby food and whatever else they need.
To book with Marcelino, guests go to babyquip.com/ruby223 and select dates they’d like to request baby gear and where they’d like to receive it.
“I made my passion of being a mom into an opportunity. I feel like I’m not working at all. I’m helping with their vacation and they can just concentrate on their children.”